Basic Human Needs/Rights

An editorial in Zambia's national newspaper, The Post, dated Aug 18 2010, commented on the recent National Constitutional Conference, whose purpose was to come up with a constitution for the country that would stand the test of time. The journalist reported that Zambia's deputy justice minister, described as utopian the demand to include in the constitution the rights of our people to water, food and shelter... social and economic rights a dream that could never be realized and as such shouldn't be included in the constitution. Shelter

Some of you have wondered why I'm serving in Zambia instead of at home. The answer is this simple - in Canada we have programs to assist those in poverty like food banks and welfare. Here in Zambia, if you live in poverty, like the villagers of Mbayi, there is nowhere to turn. The unfairness of this breaks my heart.

How does one buy seeds to plant for food when there is no money and stay healthy when there is no choice but to drink contaminated water?

As Hands of Hope, that's what we are doing right now - offering people the basics - clean water and food.

Last week I brought seeds to the women for their club. They joyously received the gifts of tomato, onion, cabbage, chinese cabbage, and green maize (which they had requested) that will help them to start their new garden. They proudly showed me the land they are preparing for planting. Demonstrating admirable organization, they had also chosen a chairperson, secretary, and treasurer in order to ensure a successful outcome for their new farming venture. They have wasted no time in getting started!

The writer of the editorial calls for progressive people, those in whose hearts there is a vestige of love for their country, love for humanity, love for justice, never to abandon the struggle for a more just, fair, and humane society. In the meantime let's be loving and generously share with those who are dreaming and struggling for what we consider basic human rights.

The women went home to their 'huts' with no electricity , warm blankets or clean water but thanks to caring hearts reaching across the ocean, they had seeds and with them hope for better days ahead.